When To Go to Canada - Pros & Cons of Different Travel Times

How To Decide When Is the Best Time To Go to Canada

Spring in Banff, Alberta. Photograph: Philip and Karen Smith / Getty Images

Temperatures in Canada | Seasons in Canada | Canada Weather & Event Guides

 

There are pros and cons to each of Canada's fours seasons as far as travelling during these times. Generally the summer months are the most popular time to visit but no matter when you choose to travel to Canada there will be some advantages (perhaps cheaper flights and hotels, fewer crowds) and some disadvantages (are you willing to go when it's freezing cold?).

 

Of course, Canada is a wide-ranging country with vastly different economic and climate conditions. Be sure to understand that any month in Vancouver is quite a different experience than the same month in Toronto or Montreal. 

Summer

The most popular time to visit Canada is in July and August, so during these months you are likely to find higher transportation and hotel costs.

Summer in Canada varies depending where you are. Obviously the more northern destinations, like in the territories or Newfoundland and Labrador, are cooler. 

During the summer, people from all over the world come to enjoy Canada's highlights and attractions in sunny, warm weather. Outdoor activities like camping and hiking are popular right across Canada, but urban destinations are also popular in summer with travellers flocking to the country's most popular cities.

Read More about Visiting Canada in Summer:

Winter

Winter is also popular as a time to visit Canada due to the many winter sports and leading Canadian ski resorts, not to mention the Quebec Ice Hotel. If you don't want to brave the elements in Canada's snowy sub-zero winter weather, winter remains a good time to get a deal on a winter city excursion.

Lots of winter flight and airfare packages are available cities like Toronto, which has great shopping malls, museums, galleries, theatres and an underground path system where visitors can stay toasty warm.

One thing is certain, Canadians do not stay indoors during the winter; we get out and enjoy it in part by way of outdoor winter celebrations, including the world's biggest winter festival, the Quebec Winter Carnival and Winterlude in the nation's capital of Ottawa, where you can skate the world's longest ice rink.

Read More about Visiting Canada in Winter:

Fall

Fall is an excellent time to visit Canada because the weather has cooled down but is still comfortable, the summer crowds have left, prices drop and changing fall foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for a vacation. In addition, fall celebrations, such as pumpkin, apple and wine festivals are in full swing and give visitors a chance to visit slightly out of the way farms and orchards.

Read More about Visiting Canada in Fall:

Travellers with Flexibility or Spontaneity

If you have flexibility with your travel dates and would like to save some money, you could visit Canada off-season (November/early December, just after Christmas, late winter/early spring). Travelling at these times will save you money on airfare and accommodation.

If you are in a position to drop everything and travel on a moment's notice, keep an eye on city and provincial tourism sites as well as budget lover sites like Travelzoo.ca, Redtag, WagJag Jaunt and Groupon Getaways, all of which offer great travel deals across Canada.

Good to Know

  • Old Montreal - one of Canada's most popular destinations - is pretty low key in winter, with some shops even shutting down. Even though there's plenty to do and see in Montreal in winter, if your reason for going is to experience Old Montreal, go in warmer months.
  • Don't assume all of Canada has the same weather. For example, Vancouver in winter rarely gets a lot of snow or sub-zero temperatures, whereas Montreal is literally freezing cold beginning in December, with multiple large snowstorms throughout the winter season. Be sure to check the climate of your destination and be prepared for the weather conditions.